VIP Flow Conditioner Minimises Pressure Drop

Vortab has introduced the Model VIP flat-panel flow conditioner, which is said to maximise flowmeter performance with minimal pressure drop in a simple-to-install lightweight panel. The company claimed that the VIP blends the performance and low pressure drop of Vortab tab-type flow conditioning technology with the low cost and ease-of-installation of an insertion panel type flow conditioner solution. Vortab tab-type flow conditioning is said to greatly reduce the pressure drop compared with tube bundles, screens and perforated plates.

Minimising pressure drop is a significant design consideration in flow conditioning for process engineers to minimise plant energy consumption and energy costs. Many flowmeter technologies, and particularly centre-point types, require several diameters of straight pipe run to meet their meter's accuracy specifications.
The straight-run is necessary to provide a repeatable symmetrical and swirl-free flow profile to the flow sensor for accurate and repeatable flow measurement. Most process industry plants are rich with elbows, valves, tees and real estate limitations that make the flowmeter's required pipe straight-run configuration difficult to achieve.

The Model VIP insertion panel flow conditioner is said to solve the pipe straight-run dilemma. A VIP installed in three pipe diameters downstream from the flow disturbance, and with the flowmeter installed at just three pipe diameters downstream of the VIP, neutralises the flow disturbance and produces the symmetrical and swirl-free repeatable flow profile that ensures a flowmeter installation meets its accuracy and repeatability specifications. The thin, lightweight panel design of VIP is said to be easily installed between flanges or can be welded in place.

Vortab said the Model VIP flow conditioner is particularly effective with wide turndown and/or flow sensitive flowmeter technologies, such as thermal dispersion, that measure in transitional flows. The company added that the VIP provides a highly repeatable flow profile during laminar, transitional and turbulent flow conditions. VIP has been tested in Vortab's NIST traceable flow stands under actual installation conditions with elbows, valves, headers and other flow disturbers. The flow conditioner is said to be easy to order and specify.

The standard Model VIP flow conditioner is manufactured of 316L stainless steel in sizes for installation in pipes from 2-40in diameters (50-999.9mm). Other materials and larger line sizes are available upon request. They are available in both ANSI and DIN flange-mount or weld-in-place configurations. A typical VIP weighs less than 560g (2oz) per diameter, which means it is easily transported and installed onsite without using special handling equipment.


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